The holiday tradition of displaying a miniature Christmas village on a table or mantle originated in Europe and goes back several centuries. These days, many retailers sell miniature buildings and figurines that you can purchase in order to create a mini Christmas village. However, with some cardboard, a hot glue gun and a little creativity, anyone can make a small Christmas village from scratch. And if you are feeling intrepid, make a Christmas village that is good enough to eat.
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Paper Christmas Village
With some basic art supplies like corrugated cardboard, glue, paint, scissors and embellishments, you can make a Christmas village that will kick off a lot of conversations this holiday season. You can find templates for many different kinds of houses and buildings for online. If you are short on time, you can use felt sheets to decorate your cardboard houses. Don't forget to add some glitter for some extra sparkle.
To make the process of creating a paper Christmas village even more satisfying, in the weeks leading up to December, start collecting paper and cardboard items that you would normally discard, like toilet paper rolls and soap or cereal boxes. With enough imagination, a small handheld mirror can become a frozen pond. A generous sprinkling of baby powder can turn your miniature Christmas village into a winter wonderland.
Wooden Miniature Christmas Village
Wood is another great material for creating a Christmas village from scratch. If you have a table saw or other means to cut plywood into shapes, you can make a Christmas village and decorate each component with acrylic paints. Alternatively, you can create houses for your mini Christmas village out of popsicle sticks, which are inexpensive and can be found at any craft store.
Edible Miniature Christmas Village
Creating a gingerbread house is another beloved holiday tradition, and you can take it a step further by creating an entire village out of gingerbread baked from scratch. Though it is time consuming, this can be a very rewarding experience if you have children, and baking gingerbread will fill your house with a delicious scent.
If baking your own gingerbread and whipping up some icing to serve as glue sounds excessively complicated, you can make your miniature Christmas village houses out of store-bought goodies like cookies and different types of candy. Ice cream cones covered in green frosting make for great Christmas trees and powdered sugar works perfectly as snow.
Finally, there are also many kits on the market that include pre-cut gingerbread house parts and other edible materials so that you can go straight to the fun part, which is, of course, decorating the Christmas village.
Go Antique Shopping
Miniature Christmas villages are an old tradition, and Christmas villages available commercially have looked different over the years. For example, in the 1970s and 80s, ceramic Christmas villages were a big trend. Therefore, if you don't mind a mismatched look, rather than purchase a modern Christmas village set, consider hunting for vintage components at local antique and thrift shops or even online on a site like eBay. You never know what kind of treasures you will come home with.
- HGTV: DIY Holiday Glitter Village Houses
- Better Homes & Gardens: Make a DIY Felt Christmas Village in Under an Hour
- Better Homes & Gardens: The History of Christmas Villages—And 5 Modern Picks Our Editors Are Loving
- Food Network: Gingerbread House Recipe
- Good Housekeeping: 16 Easy Popsicle Stick Christmas Crafts for All Ages